Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko insists they are trying to ensure Max Verstappen avoids any more collisions by helping to develop a ‘mutual respect’ with other drivers, including Lewis Hamilton.
Verstappen crashed with his title rival at the Italian Grand Prix at Monza earlier this month when his Red Bull vehicle launched from the curb and landed on top of the Brit’s Mercedes, a collision that put both drivers out of the race.
The Dutchman currently leads this season’s standings, sitting five points above seven-time world champion Hamilton, but it was the second time he had crashed with his rival after they collided on lap one at Silverstone in July.
Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko insists they are trying to ensure Max Verstappen avoids any more collisions
Verstappen crashed with title rival Lewis Hamilton at the Italian Grand Prix earlier this month
His Red Bull vehicle launched from the curb and landed on top of the Brit’s Mercedes
But Marko, 78, claims his team are doing all they can to ensure there are no other collisions involving their driver, starting with this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix, where the Dutchman faces a three-place grid penalty due to the crash at Monza.
Speaking to RTL, he said: ‘From our side, we try to influence Max so that there is mutual respect and collisions are to be avoided.
‘These are racing drivers – when the visor is down, everything is forgotten again.’
Hamilton – who was saved from serious injury at Monza due to the protective halo device – required treatment for a neck injury following the crash but Ralf Schumacher believes he overreacted to the crash.
The Dutchman faces a three-place grid penalty this weekend after colliding with Hamilton
But Marko, 78, claims his team are doing all they can to ensure there are no other collisions
The British driver was pictured partying at the Met Gala in New York with OnlyFans model Janet Guzman just hours after the crash, leaving Marko to join the German Schumacher in accusing Hamilton of exaggerating the injuries he suffered.
‘The whole incident was certainly not life-threatening,’ he added. ‘If he had really serious neck pain or problems, then he would not have been in New York – incidentally in the very funny outfit he appeared in.
‘If you go on a seven-hour flight with a stiff neck after an incident like this, it couldn’t have been all that serious.’
Marko had also recently told the Osterreich newspaper: ‘It was a normal racing accident. All the stories around it were pulled up by the hair by Mercedes.
Lewis Hamilton was pictured partying at the Met Gala with OnlyFans model Janet Guzman (R)
‘Verstappen had already got out when Hamilton tried to go back to get out of the gravel.
‘The medical car saw that and drove on. And then a show is put on that poor Hamilton is suddenly injured.’
A couple of days ago, Schumacher was equally scathing, stating: ‘I think Lewis was too dramatising of it, considering that he flew to New York the next day to attend an event.’
Daniel Ricciardo also leapt to the defence of Verstappen after the Dutchman was accused of failing to check on Hamilton following their crash at Monza.
Verstappen drew criticism after appearing to walk away from the incident while Hamilton was left sat in his Mercedes cockpit.
Ralf Schumacher believes Hamilton overreacted following the collision at Monza
‘This is going to be diplomatic, I would say all of us drivers, for sure we’ve got rivalries, and for sure we don’t all get on the best,’ Ricciardo, who went on to win the Italian Grand Prix, explained on the Pardon My Take podcast.
‘But if we had a crash and we knew that guy was injured, 100 per cent, hand on heart, I believe all of us would go and try and help. If we knew it was something serious, we wouldn’t just turn our backs.
‘I know Max, I was team-mates with him for a few years and that’s him — he’s a competitor, he’ll leave it on the track and that’s it.
‘I guess he probably still carried a little bit of frustration or anger or emotion from Silverstone, so maybe that was the reason why he was kind of like “Stuff this, I’m just going to walk away”.
‘There were things like Lewis trying to reverse and get out. I’ve already probably got too involved, maybe Max saw that and he’s like “Okay, Lewis is fine”.’
Daniel Ricciardo also leapt to the defence of Verstappen following the Italian GP crash